Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Down on the Farm: Who's got next?

Michael Hurcomb
Fantasy Writer
  •  

Do you remember the good ol' days of baseball? Like when the word "pitch count" didn't exist, closers would often go multiple innings to record saves and prospects were given time to develop in the minor leagues.

There's nothing wrong with change, and often change is a good thing. But now that teams are rapidly moving prospects through their farm system, it's getting tougher to guesstimate MLB debuts.

There was a time when a player would get drafted and it would be a few years before we would see him in the majors. Now, guys get drafted and months later they're donning big league uniforms.

This season, we have seen a pair of 2012 first-round picks -- Kevin Gausman and Michael Wacha -- and one second-round pick -- Alex Wood -- make their MLB debuts. Let's not forget that 2012 second-round pick Paco Rodriguez made his debut for the Dodgers last season.

The list goes on and on with players spending little time in the minors, hardly seeing time at the upper levels or even making the jump from the low minors. Some of the more notable names meeting the criteria have been Yasiel Puig, Anthony Rendon, Jose Fernandez and Carlos Martinez.

We truly live in a world where calling a prospect a long-term Fantasy keeper is taboo. And that means bench spots in seasonal formats are being occupied more by minor leaguers than true reserves. Everyone rather not miss out on the next great prospect and bypass a player that could pay immediate, but likely short-lived dividends.

Which leads us into the topic of who is among the next wave of prospects speeding through the minors that could be worth a bench spot in your league?

The Mariners have already begun the transition of bringing up their stars of tomorrow. Mike Zunino is calling games behind the plate, while Brad Miller and Nick Franklin are manning the middle infield. But the call-ups aren't likely to stop with those three.

We're anticipating starting pitchers Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker joining the Seattle rotation by season's end. The duo has a combined 19 Triple-A starts, but Hultzen would have likely already been in the majors had a shoulder injury not sidelined him for several weeks. Walker has tossed 11 shutout innings since his promotion from Double-A Jackson. I've been pushing Fantasy owners all season to stash Hultzen as an impact arm, but now I'm changing my tune about Walker, given his surge this season and the recent trend of unlikely promotions.

The Orioles' rotation certainly could use a boost, but look to outfielder Henry Urrutia to provide a lift to the team's offense in the second half. He was recently promoted to Triple-A Norfolk after the organization got a little more comfortable with his defensive and baserunning skills. However, Urrutia can rake. He hit .365 with a .550 slugging percentage and .983 OPS in 52 games at Double-A Bowie, and the Orioles can always stick him at DH if they feel he's too much of a liability in the outfield.

The Red Sox are trying to solidify the back-end of their rotation. Allen Webster hasn't panned out yet and while Felix Doubront has been much better as of late, if the Red Sox don't trust Rubby De La Rosa or Franklin Morales to help the rotation, then Boston could turn to Brandon Workman. After going 10-8 with a 3.50 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 25 starts last season, the right-hander is 8-2 with a 3.42 ERA and 1.19 WHIP between Double-A and Triple-A this season, while striking out a career-high 9.8 batters per nine innings. He has gone 3-1 with a 3.41 ERA in five starts since his promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket.

The Royals and White Sox are both under .500, but with plenty of games left they are still in the playoff hunt. Even if they fall out of the playoff chase, personnel moves could lead them to promote some of their top pitching prospects, particularly Kansas City's Yordano Ventura and Erik Johnson of the White Sox.

Ventura has struggled a bit since his promotion to Triple-A Omaha, posting a 4.94 ERA in 23 2/3 innings, but if the Royals trade soon-to-be-free-agent Ervin Santana, then Ventura could get the call. Remember, he was in the final pool of players vying for a spot in the rotation this spring.

Most Owned Minor Leaguers (as of 7/3)
Player % owned
1. Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox 50
2. Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals 43
3. Michael Wacha, SP, Cardinals 38
4. Billy Hamilton, OF, Reds 36
5. Ike Davis, 1B, Mets 32
6. Dan Straily, SP, Athletics 31
7. Travis d'Arnaud, C, Mets 30
8. Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins 28
9. Tyler Skaggs, SP, D-Backs 26
10. Trevor Bauer, SP, Indians 25

As for Johnson, the 2011 second-round pick is 9-2 with a 2.21 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in 16 starts between Double-A and Triple-A. The White Sox are unlikely to make the playoffs, so it might be worth giving Johnson a taste of the majors in 2013 so he's ready to compete for a rotation spot next spring.

Lastly, Phillies third baseman Michael Young's name has been mentioned heavily in trade rumors. If the Phillies choose to be sellers at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, then Young is a strong candidate to be moved. If he's dealt, who replaces Young at the hot corner?

Cody Asche is a strong candidate since he's done well at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but I'm not convinced Maikel Franco wouldn't leapfrog Asche. After rivaling Miguel Sano as the top power hitter in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League (high Class A), Franco has been on a ridiculous tear since his promotion to Double-A Reading. He hit .431 with a .765 slugging percentage, four home runs and 11 RBI in his first 12 games. If Franco has star potential, then much like Johnson, the Phillies might not wait until next spring to give him a major-league audition.

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Phillies scouting Tigers prospect Jake Thompson
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:02 pm ET) The Phillies had a scout at Double-A Erie's game Wednesday to watch Tigers pitching prospect Jake Thompson, MLB.com reports.

Thompson, who struck out the only two batters he faced in the All-Star Futures Game earlier this month, gave up one run in five innings and struck out five in this outing. The Tigers are on the lookout for bullpen help and could be a match with the Phillies, who have Jonathan Papelbon and Antonio Bastardo on the market.


Yunel Escobar ejected for arguing strikes
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:31 pm ET) Rays infielder Yunel Escobar was ejected for arguing strikes Wednesday.

Escobar singled in his first at-bat,  but was ejected after his second appearance. He was called out on strikes, and was ejected after arguing with the umpire. Escobar finished the game 1 for 2, with a run scored.


Ubaldo Jimenez gets through bullpen session
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:13 pm ET) Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez was able to get through a 35-pitch bullpen session Wednesday, according to MLB.com. 

Jimenez also performed some running drills. He's attempting to work his way back from an ankle injury. It's unclear what the next step is in Jimenez's recovery process. Over 99 2/3 innings, he's posted a 4.52 ERA. 


Report: Phillies have discussed parting ways with Ryan Howard
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:06 pm ET) Phillies team officials have discussed buying out the remainder of first baseman Ryan Howard's contract and moving forward without him after the season, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia reports.

The Phillies have floated Howard's name in trade walks, but no teams are interested in taking on the $60 million owed to the first baseman over the next two seasons. Howard has hit just .224/.305/.377 with 15 home runs and 60 RBI in 371 at-bats, and he may be looking at a role as a platoon player over the remainder of the season, as he is out of the lineup against a lefty Wednesday.


Rockies, Orioles not progressing in Jorge De La Rosa talks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:00 pm ET) The Rockies and Orioles have been engaged in trade discussions involving pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, but there's no evidence the talks have progressed in recent days, CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman reports.

The Rockies are seeking "big-time young pitching" in exchange for De La Rosa, to whom they'll likely extend a qualifying offer after the season. The Orioles are hesitant to part with a top young pitcher in a deal for the upcoming free agent. De La Rosa owns a 4.19 ERA and 86:46 K:BB ratio in 116 innings.


Clint Barmes ahead of schedule in recovery
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:55 pm ET) Trainers have told Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes that he is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a groin injury, MLB.com reports.

Barmes jogged for the first time Wednesday since going on the disabled list on July 6. He will travel with the team on its upcoming road trip and hopes to take batting practice within the coming week. Barmes has hit .239/.320/.284 in 88 at-bats.


Alberto Callaspo could be back by Sunday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:41 pm ET) Athletics infielder Alberto Callaspo could return as soon as Sunday, according to the Bay Area News Group

Callaspo could go on a quick rehab assignment depending on whether he can avoid any setbacks with his hamstring. Manager Bob Melvin mentioned Sunday as a possible return date for Callaspo. In 282 at-bats, Callaspo is hitting .234/.308/.309.


Masahiro Tanaka still dealing with discomfort
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:35 pm ET) Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is still dealing with arm discomfort, according to MLB.com.

General manager Brian Cashman said "it's too early to call" regarding the team's plan to rest Tanaka. The alternative would be Tommy John surgery, but the team will wait to make that decision. Tanaka posted a 2.51 ERA over 129 1/3 innings prior to the injury.


Yasiel Puig may return Friday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:35 pm ET) Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig took extra batting practice Wednesday and may be ready to return to the starting lineup Friday, MLB.com reports.

Puig has been sidelined for four starts while recovering from getting hit on the hand by a pitch. He is expected to be available to pinch-hit Wednesday or possibly be used in a double-switch.


Kyle Blanks doing 'a lot better'
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:32 pm ET) Athletics infielder Kyle Blanks is doing "a lot better," but remains at least a week away from a rehab assignment, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Blanks has been sidelined since June 22 due to a calf injury. In 55 at-bats in the majors, Blanks has hit .309.


 
 
 
Rankings